When you hear the word “Whiteface Mountain,” your mind immediately takes you to Esther Mountain because the two peaks are often climbed together. However, the views you access from the former are unmatched by anything else. They encompass several sides, including the Montreal skyscrapers and the Vermont Green Mountains on a clear sunny day. As the 5th highest peak in New York, this mountain attracts many visitors every year.
Only a short walk away is also an elevator that takes you to an area near the summit. Nonetheless, a good Whiteface Mountain hike can certainly take all your stresses away while you stroll through some of the prettiest sites in the region.
What Trails Can You Use to Climb the Mountain?
While this isn’t a popular approach, it serves as the perfect challenge for those who yearn for adventure. Start by following Route 86, which goes toward Wilmington, and walk three miles to the Whiteface Landing Trailhead. This is where you can access Whiteface Landing. You can also use the parking lot, which is just up the road to get to the road that leads back to the Whiteface Landing trailhead.
This 6-mile hike will take you to a one-way summit of Whiteface. While the terrain is rocky and rough, it will facilitate a quick hike back to Whiteface Landing. Even though the trail is majorly flat, it can demand a challenging climb right up the mountain’s fall line.
The Trail from the ASRC
This is by far the shortest approach to climbing the mountain. However, do not mistake it for the easiest. Since the mountain is a high peak, you will experience rugged terrains and a significant rise in elevation as you keep hiking.
Start by following Route 86 from the intersection of Route 73 and 86. Keep going toward Wilmington until you see the 4-way stop sign. From there, turn towards Route 431, and it will take you to Toll Road. Continue for 2.4 miles to the ASCR (Atmospheric Science Research Center) road, and you will come across a one-way roundabout to the trail. Overall, it’s a 4-mile hike each way.
All in all, both approaches can be used in summer and winter. You may notice very little activity on the Whiteface Landing route, but it is relatively safer. However, you may experience frigid temperatures and heavy winds once you’re on the summit. Make sure to wear proper winter attire and keep traction devices as they help you traverse the deep snow and icy sections.
Fun Facts About Whiteface Mountain
It Isn’t Only for Skiing
Whiteface Mountain doesn’t only serve a skier’s interests. You can come here even if you’re looking for a slightly easier challenge. A good Whiteface Mountain hike will certainly light up your day. Don’t worry if you’re not a fan of either of the two activities. You can simply take the gondola and do a bit of sightseeing.
The ride from the base shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, but on the way, you will surely be rewarded with majestic views of the Adirondack Mountains. All the way up from the ski jumps to Lake Placid; you’ll be enthralled to see everything that comes your way.
You Can Also Come Here For a Day of Rest
Did you know that this place is voted as the best one for down day activities by Ski Magazine? There are several ways you can spend your day, And it doesn’t always have to be about hiking or skiing.
High Falls Gorge will surely be the highlight of your day as it’s the most breathtaking 30-minute walk you’ll ever take. You can also check out Santa’s workshop if you’re accompanied by your family. If nothing, take a small stroll through Lake Placid, as it’s the neighboring town.
It Has an Impressive Vertical Drop
If you didn’t already know, Whiteface has a higher vertical drop than Snowbird in Utah, Lake Louise in Alberta, and Aspen in Colorado. Yes, you read it right. The drop is of an impressive 3,430 ft., and it doesn’t end here. A Whiteface Mountain hike can be a pretty challenging task to take on. The area has extremely steep trails that sometimes become a challenge, even for professional skiers.
Skiing is Free on December 9
If you’re a skiing buff looking for a day of fun without breaking the bank, December 9 is the day for you. Yes, you heard it right. All you have to do is wear your best Santa suit and enjoy a free day of skiing at Whiteface Mountain.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most festive times of the year for a skier. If you can’t get a Santa suit, don’t worry. You can also donate a new toy or a gently used coat to receive a discount on your gondola ride for the day.
A common misconception that Whiteface Mountain is often in the grip is that it was used during the Winter Olympics of 1932. It is far from the truth because the mountain was officially opened for skiing in 1958, and there were no alpine skiing events in the Olympics.
It isn’t easy to climb or let alone reach a high peak. However, with Whiteface Mountain, that doesn’t seem to be the case. While climbing and hiking on it is a whole other challenge altogether, it isn’t that hard to access the mountain. You can easily do so by a motor vehicle.
The best part about choosing to spend a day here is that you don’t necessarily have to engage in challenging activities. It isn’t only a safe haven for skiers and hikers but also for those who love sightseeing. All you need to do is drive to the top of this gorgeous mountain and check the breathtaking view. The authorities also offer an amazing 36-degree view of Canada, Vermont, and the Adirondacks at the summit.